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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

R Leonard

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  1. R Leonard

    Help needed please!

    Turned down collar. US uniforms of the WWI period had stand-up collars. Not a US uniform.
  2. R Leonard

    Please stop using the term "awarded"

    Whoa there big fella. Easy now. It is always best not to take offense unless and until it is well, truly, and pointedly offered. I was referring to the lug nut who wrote the headline for the article in "Army Times," above.
  3. R Leonard

    Please stop using the term "awarded"

    Perhaps just another fine example of poor writing by selecting the wrong word from someone who portrays him/herself as a "journalist".
  4. R Leonard


    The Soviet Navy of that time was not, as they say "a blue water navy." It was a navy that operated in the littorals and narrowly defined waters such as the Baltic or the Black seas. They had no use for aircraft carriers and, furthermore, the with the design of the GZ creating a piece of junk in terms of real aircraft carriers, trying to make it operational would be more trouble than it was worth. Their real mistake was not hauling it to a breakers yard and salvaging the steel . . . think of all those razor blades.
  5. R Leonard


    Bombing and torpedoing a hulk is certainly target practice for those doing the bombing and torpedoing. Target practice does not require a gun, it requires a means to deliver the specified ordnance on the given target.
  6. R Leonard

    Fight Pilots

    The short answer? The RAF started phasing out enlisted pilots in 1950. They were either directly commissioned or were appointed warrant officers. The British Army, on the other hand, has non-commissioned pilots.
  7. R Leonard

    Help with missile/rocket identification

    Nice shot, Ron!
  8. BunkerGearGal breaks out her handy-dandy Occam's Razor and goes to work. Succinct and to the point. Could not agree more.
  9. R Leonard

    1937 Nanjing/Nanking massacre movie questions

    1. Yes, the helmets are correct. The Nationalists were advised by Germans from 1928 to 1938. They were also supplied German weapons and surplus equipment, including helmets. It was a tidy money maker for German industry. The advisors were former military personnel. 2. Yes, see above. Not to mention that stick grenades are fairly easy to manufacture. 3. A very crude, field expedient shaped charge. Wet blanket serves to momentarily channel the force of the combined explosion in the direction of the flat end. Theoretically long enough to blow a hole through what armor a 1930s Japanese tank might possess. Not really something to toss, more something to place where you want it, like to top of a turret, flat side down. A lot of wishful thinking. "vell . . . it should verk . . ."
  10. I suspect that this award was not a personal award, rather it was part of the blanket Congressional Gold Medal awarded to OSS personnel, passed by Congress in 2016. A press release from one of the Senators from my state: https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2016/2/senate-passes-bill-to-award-congressional-gold-medal-to-oss-veterans And the actual legislation, see https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-114publ269/html/PLAW-114publ269.htm The act clearly references the bronze copies of the gold original which is, I presume, now since the act required same, held at the Smithsonian. And here's another recipient of the same bronze copy https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/05/07/after-74-years-army-veteran-recognized-for-wreaking-wwii-chaos-with-oss/ And another: http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20180402/secret-wwii-commandos-rewarded-for-valor I am certain these awards are far more than just well deserved and, perhaps, somewhat belated, but my personal opinion is that they are not quite the breathless excitement exuded by some of the writers.
  11. He did not receive the Medal of Honor (please do not use abbreviations for decorations). He was awarded with a Congressional Gold Medal for his service as an OSS officer; in fact, what he actually received was a bronze copy of a Congressional Gold Medal. Again, this was NOT a decoration with the Medal of Honor. Congressional Gold Medals used to be important, but can also simply be a case where someone pushes their congressperson hard enough to insert wording in a funding bill and, viola, a medal is awarded. But they don't hand out gold medals, they simply say the award has been made, provide a picture of a generic real thing, put the announcement in the Congressional Record, and and cough up a replica. Illustrative in itself. Don't think I am demeaning the gent, I am not. Sounds like he was involved in the Jedburgh program . . . pretty hairy stuff . . . dropping 3 to 5 man teams into occupied France where they were pretty much on their own. Hopefully they would meet up with the local resistance, but if not . . . well, the results could be, and often were, terminal. The question in my mind is why was he not decorated by the Army? USMC personnel involved in these activities were decorated during and after the war; Peter J Ortiz, for example, was twice decorated with the Navy Cross for his behind the lines work in France for the OSS. If the Army failed to decorate Mr. Gleb, then it is nice to see someone take notice of his service by whatever means. Rant mode on: And of course, if you read the articles on Mr. Gleb, you see the constant repetition of "retired Captain". No reflection on him, but this is journalism run amok, people writing phrases without any conception of what they're saying. Mr. Gleb may be retired, at his age I would hope so, and his terminal rank was Captain, AUS, but that does not make him a retired Captain by any stretch of the imagination. Sometimes, when it comes to history and common sense, I think once a journalist's fingers hit the keyboard they loose the ability to think things through. Rant mode off.
  12. R Leonard

    Please stop using the term "awarded"

    The correct term, in US service, is "decorated" as in a full dress awards parade when the command is given by the adjutant: "Colors and personnel to be decorated . . . Center . . . March!" At which point the band plays an appropriate number, the colors come forward from the center of the formation, and the personnel to be decorated come traipsing out from wherever they had been stashed and form a line, senior decoration to the right as they face the reviewing stand and between the colors and the reviewing party. 'Struth for certes the word "decorate" is rarely used by anyone to describe pinning or hanging a medal on someone. That being said, "received" is okay and, yes, even "awarded," in the non specific vernacular, but never, ever, any form of "win" or "won" . . . performing an act for which one is decorated is/was not a competition. And a posthumous award, usually given to the next of kin . . . the decoration, whatever it might be, is presented to such, though the reality is for Medals of Honor, Navy Crosses, Distinguished Service Crosses, and Air Force Crosses, the top tier medals for valor in US service, presentations are usually fairly public affairs. Below that, such presentations tend to be less ostentatious and are generally fairly private affairs usually conducted in an office somewhere. By the end of the WW2, posthumous decorations were simply mailed to the next of kin with a nice letter from somebody important and the citation.
  13. R Leonard

    1920s Banana Wars

    In the period which you address, in the USN, only capital ships, BBs, CAs, CVs, and the larger CLs, had Marine detachments; anything smaller did not, smaller CLs, DDs on down. Pretty much that way today in the modern equivalents. May I suggest the USMC Small Wars Manual, circa 1936 rev 1940, here's a link https://archive.org/details/SmallWarsManual1940 and some evaluation of same http://www.classicsofstrategy.com/2015/09/small-wars-manual-marine-corps.html and then there's this: https://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/1996/11/lessons-yesterdays-operations-short-war-nicaragua-and-small-wars-manual
  14. Royal Navy, group 2 or group 3, "T" Class submarine. Not saying you're wrong, but I can find no reference, albeit through a very fast and dirty look, to any of them being at Caen. Most served in the Pacific in the post D-Day period. On the other hand, the picture is what it is, a T Class submarine with what appears to be to be in the background, from the architecture, a French city. There were two or three T Class that went to the Royal Netherlands Navy, but from the uniforms, this does not look like it would be be of them.